by Telesha Vidya Ramnarine
THE Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is in the process of deciding what it will do with the 46 vendors of the Kitty Market who are “in harm’s way.”
“It is unsafe; in a ruinous condition,” Town Clerk Royston King said of the market which is located at the corners of Barr and Alexander Streets, Kitty.
Speaking at the Council’s statutory meeting yesterday, King said M&CC is trying to locate some research done years ago on the structural soundness of the market, and is still to decide whether it will proceed through a public/private partnership or will go at it alone.
“Council has to decide if we will relocate the vendors. They are in harm’s way,” he said.
Officials have always said that the restoration of the market is still on the cards of the M&CC but has often cited lack of finances to move the process forward. This is even as the market was described as a “threat to life and limb” by City Hall officials.
The original intention was for the architectural design of the market, a landmark in the capital of Guyana, to be retained so that it can be restored to its exact original appearance, but it is not clear if this is still the intention of the M&CC.
Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green has told Demerara Waves Online News that in the past that, to her knowledge, the undertaking was at a standstill because then Town Clerk Carol Sooba had failed to implement certain decisions that were taken by Council with respect to the market.
According to Chase-Green, the Council wanted the job to go to public tender so that anyone who was interested in rehabilitating the structure, or at least portions of it, could have come forward with a proposal and the Markets and Public Health Committee would have reviewed it.
She said the Kitty Market remains a source of worry because vendors are still there plying their trade.
Stallholders have time and again made known their concerns and have demanded that urgent measures be put in place to save the edifice.
On one occasion, the vendors had pointed out that many of them depend on the market for their livelihoods and they are quite frustrated over the circumstances under which they are forced to do business.
The stallholders are of the view that the present state of the market was due to the willful neglect of the Council for many years now.
The vendors said they had formed a committee and had written several letters to then President Donald Ramotar, former Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud, Mayor Hamilton Green and Sooba, pleading for help.
They had declared that they were “fed up” of hearing action would be taken and had demanded that a decision be made for immediate works to start, as the state of the market is driving customers away.